ICU


Bright blue hole burns in her chest
Just above where the guts start
Blue like that slit growing in her head

I don’t want to talk about it
I don’t want to think about it

Always wanted to be an ICU nurse
Hard stuff, the real action
I’ve got five on ventilators
Usually it’s two
Will my luck hold or
Hold me ransom?

You don’t cry, you weep

They’re lying prone, breaths too shallow
Rustling hearts pushing
Dark red blood into white glazed eyes
I hope they can’t see where they are
Three alarm bells ringing
Who’s on first?

I don’t want to think about it
I do need to talk about it

A pneumothorax; no wonder he’s blue
Now he’s less than half a lung
Can I place the chest tube myself
If I screw up will he still make it?

You don’t weep, you cry

The fever burns through fast
Heat pouring from pale-blue palms
I’d pack her in ice but that won’t help
We’re born trapped in dying bodies but
She thought they’d have years
Not hours

I’d like not to think about it
I don’t wish to dream about it

They come in and go out
Leaving for some permanent address
Too many of them, too few of us
The walls so thick no one sees
Blood seeps through on the other side
Will I ever do this job right?
I keep crying

Dream I’m in an ICU bed
Tube furry-thick in my throat
Face slicked down on a sheet
That glare I see at work
Are the lights I see now
Shadows zigzag through my hands
I’m cold
Yet a hot blue hole burns my chest
Thin spikes shoot deep in my head

I don’t want to talk about it
I don’t want to think
I don’t want to

Posted in Medicine.